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Social Science Computer Review | 12.13.15

I Know God’s Got a Day 4 Me

Desmond U. Patton et al

Abstract: Trauma-based interventions are common in mental health practice, and yet there is a gap in services because social media has created new ways of managing trauma. Practitioners identify treatments for traumatic experiences and are trained to implement evidence-based practices, but there is limited research that uses social media as a data source. We use a case study to explore over 400 Twitter communications of a gang member in Chicago’s Southside, Gakirah Barnes, who mourned the death of her friend on Twitter. We further explore how, following her own death, members of her Twitter network mourn her. We describe expressions of trauma that are difficult to uncover in traditional trauma-based services. We discuss practice and research implications regarding using Twitter to address trauma among gang-involved youth.

Desmond Patton

Ninive Sanchez

Dale Fitch

Jamie Macbeth

Patrick Leonard


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